Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Sense of Place: The Path

In coming to terms with the space we fill in this world, and in celebrating my love of the elements of design, I am going to begin regularly posting about the spaces we keep, our sense of place, if you will.  The spaces will mostly be in and around our own home, some away from home, and occasionally home designs that I really dig from elsewhere.  

Our little plot of land is long and narrow, with a marsh along each end.  There is a small strip of land that runs along the far side of the marsh, parallel to the road, and between another small marshy area.  This narrow strip, when we first discovered it for ourselves was like some secret hidden island.  It could only be reached from the road, where I noticed a small animal path leading in through the overgrowth.  Following it I found the path wound through high bush blueberry, wild rhododendron, and tall white pines.  The ground was mostly low and mossy, interspersed with dry, and a soft layer of fallen pine needles.  

A few years ago we set about building a bridge across the marsh, that would connect our yard to this secret path, leading to the side road, a favorite place for walking/biking.  "The Path" as its now called, has become one of my very favorite places. 

There is something so grounding about a walk along a soft earthen path.  It is where we walk for nature observation, where we walk to access the side road for most biking/dog walking activity.  It is where we snow shoe, exploring the frozen marsh which has suddenly become a field in its frozen state.  

It is where I go for a quick escape when my children are making me crazy.  It is Kale's new favorite place to be. It is where we pick blueberries in the summer and cranberries in the fall.  It is home to countless varieties of moss, and flanked with wild Iris and princess pine.  And the frogs!  There is a clump of overgrown high-bush blueberry known by the children as the "ice cream store".  It is a place for pretend camping, a place where children can feel as if they are going "far away".  It is a place for quiet ritual;  we often have a quiet (no talking please) morning walk here, and it is where we have our yearly solstice lantern walk.  

Our path is not long.  It doesn't take you very far.  But always, at the end I know I'm home.  

If you feel inspired to share a space of yours too, please do.  Just leave a link to your spot in comments section for others to share.  I love to see other people's ideas. 

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